Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tribute to my childhood idol, Hollywood Legend Ester Williams - dead at 91


Ester Williams was second in earnings only to Betty Grable , in the 1940's. However, while Grable sang and danced her way to the top of box office success...the pool and wartime pinup pictures of Williams in bathing suits, made her a Star.  The upswing in home swimming pools during the the 1950 was said to be because of Hollywood's Queen of the Water Ballet.


My parents nicknamed me Ester Williams, when out of the blue, I slid off my float and swam to the edge of the pool.  I was 3 years old and everyone made a big deal out of it. I was born with natural talent for swimming, everyone said.  As I grew older, I hoped to become a water ballet star at MGM, where my grandfather, Andy Mac Donald was head of the prop and construction department for over 50 years.   



"Ester Williams, Get out of the pool NOW!" became my parents mantra, because I'd stay in in the water until my fingers looked like prunes.



Still a Mermaid in 1968, right after the Maybelline Company sold. My dream was to live by the ocean.  It came true when we moved to Newport Beach, that year. 

As a little girl, I imagined being a Bride someday, dressed in a white bathing suit with a veil pinned to my sleeked back hair. I pictured my Groom and I diving to the bottom of the pool, saying a quick "I Do" and coming up a married couple.  All my guests dressed in bathing suits, would joyously jump in and congratulate us. What could be more fun, I thought!!!


I did get married, but not in the pool, of course.  Here I am with my best friend David Van Houten, in 1977, eating tuna sandwiches after a swim across the bay on Lido Isle, in Newport Beach, California.  You can hardly tell I'm pregnant, but, my baby girl, was born just one week after this picture was taken. She too grew up to be a water baby just like me.



1987 at my father's home in Palm Springs California.  Me, my brother Preston, my daughter Georgia and my dad, Bill Williams. After a day of swimming in his giant, Casa De Guillermo pool.

So as a born Mermaid myself, I'm very sad to hear of my swimming Idol, Ester Williams, passing on June 6th, at 91, in her sleep.  I imagine she's probably orchestrating a beautiful water ballet right now..... and when I join her, I hope she will cast me in one of her heavenly productions.

REST IN PEACE ESTER, YOU WILL BE MISSED.

                                 The Million Dollar Mermaid 



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